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Madeleine of France

Madeleine of France (1520–37), queen of James V of Scotland. The eldest surviving daughter of Francis I of France, Madeleine married James V in Paris on 1 January 1537. The French king, at war with the Emperor Charles V and facing renewed hostilities with England, paid a high price for maintaining Scottish friendship. James was originally offered the daughter of the duke of Vendôme, but on travelling to France to negotiate the marriage found her ‘hunch-backed and misshapen’. He held out for Madeleine and a dowry of 100,000 livres, plus the annual rent on a further sum of 125,000 livres. Madeleine herself favoured the match, despite warnings that her fragile health would not survive the Scottish climate, and sailed for Scotland in May 1537. She died only weeks later on 7 July. The following year the Franco-Scottish alliance was renewed through the marriage of James V to Mary of Guise.

Roger A. Mason

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